Private jet crashes onto Malaysia highway, killing 10

Authorities inspect the scene of a plane crash near Elmina, Malaysia August 17, 2023
Image caption,The scene of the plane crash near Elmina, Malaysia

A private jet has crashed into a car and a motorbike on a highway in Malaysia, killing at least 10 people, police say.

All eight people on the aircraft died along with two motorists on the ground.

The jet exploded into a fireball on impact, with thick black smoke seen rising from the site, video clips from the scene showed.

It was travelling from the resort island of Langkawi to Selangor, west of the capital Kuala Lumpur.

Officials said the Beechcraft Model 390 aircraft had lost contact with the air traffic control tower before it crashed on Thursday.

“There was no emergency call, the aircraft had been given clearance to land,” Hussein Omar Khan said.

A local politician was one of the eight people killed onboard the small airplane when it crashed, according to its flight manifest.

However, Transport Minister Anthony Loke refused to identify the fatalities pending forensic test results at a local hospital.

Pilot Shahrul Kamal Roslan, survived by his wife and four sons, was one of the victims of the crash.

Outside the hospital, Mr Shahrul’s 67-year-old mother Mahanum told local media in tears that when they last talked, her son told her: “I love you, mama.”

Malaysia’s civil aviation authority said an initial investigation showed the plane had been cleared for take-off and that the two pilots were experienced.

Investigators are working to find the plane’s black box or flight data recorder.

“For now we cannot say what was the cause of the crash since investigations are underway,” Mr Loke said.

A witness told Reuters that he had been working on site as an engineer when he heard an explosion. He went to where the crash happened and saw injured people.

Mohamad Syahmie Mohamad Hashim, a former member of the Malaysian Air Force, told AFP that he saw the plane flying erratically.

“Not long after that I heard a loud boom,” he said. “I sped towards the location and saw the remains of an aircraft. I couldn’t do anything.”

Authorities inspect the scene of a plane crash near Elmina, Malaysia August 17, 2023

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